Saturday, August 5, 2017

Getting Inspired at the Santa Cruz Farmers' Markets Pop-Up Breakfast


Every summer the Santa Cruz Farmers' Markets hosts a series of pop-up brunches. I was lucky enough to go to the very first one in 2012; and every year since I've been invited back for an event or two as a photographer. This morning my Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf was my date. What delicious fun!


Today Chef Katherine Stern of Santa Cruz's La Posta was the headliner. I've never been to her restaurant, but after what we tried today, I definitely want to get up there.



We always shop the market stands before and after the brunch because these events are also about the farmers and the seasonal produce...

 
  ...they are about the people. In this case Nicki Zahm and Nesh Dhillon of the Santa Cruz Farmers' Markets wrangled Chef Katherine and her team cooked for all 145 of us. The duo of  Stockwell Cellars poured two of their wines - a 2015 Chardonnay Tondre and a yet unlabeled Rosé of Pinot Noir. The youths of FoodWhat?! served. And we heard from Hans of H&H Fresh Fish.
  
 
...they are about the community...and connecting people to their food producers.
 ...they are about the drinks. Those wines were fabulous.
 ...and, of course, they are also about the food. Here's Chef Katherine's menu...

CHILLED MELON SOUP
with cucumber, preserved lemon, and mint
GRILLED GEMS
marinated tomatoes, peppers, and herbs  
STUFFED SUMMER SQUASH
with potato and Garden Variety Cheese
CHARRED GREENS
with sesame dressing
SMOKED FISH ON TOAST
Monterey Bay black cod on sourdough with salsa de uova, shaved radish and fennel
SWEET FINISH
rice pudding with stone fruit compote lavender syrup and cookie crumb

It was a beautiful day on the north side of the Monterey Bay. I can't wait till next season's events. In the meantime, D and I were inspired. So, you'll see several recipes that are our versions. 

I was so excited to find fresh squash blossoms. I haven't seen any in weeks. Nesh told us that his wife stuffs them with cheese and sausage or tempuras them. Wow. I will use them tomorrow and keep you posted.

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